KAMPALA – Mr. Robert Kyagulanyi, the Kyadondo East Member of Parliament popularly known by his stage name – Bobi Wine, has slammed President Yoweri Museveni’s militarisation of Police.
President Museveni last week appointed four army officers to senior positions in the police leadership in what is seen as the head of state’s confidence in army officers to resolve the rising armed robberies in the country but Bobi Wine railed against “move” and “a lack of respect for dedicated police officers”.
The budding opposition figure who last week received an award for his relentless fight against human rights abuses in the country says there is a reason the police is separated from the military.
Quoting William Adama, who was conscripted into military service during the Cylon War, in which he served as a Raptor and Viper pilot under the callsign “Husker, the youthful MP said: “The military is supposed to safeguard Uganda’s borders, whoever violates that is an enemy and the military deals with an enemy most of the time. Police is supposed to keep law and order all the time”.j
“When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people,” the vocal opposition leader said.
Bobi Wine– who is on resource mobilisation tour abroad – vented his frustration with Museveni’s new tactics ahead of 2021 polls in a twitter post, having perversely tested police and military brutality.
Museveni’s deployment of army into police also angered other industry commentators and members opposition who recently hit back in protest.
The former Economics and Research director at Internal Security Organization, Mr. Charles Rwomushana said that the deployment of military officers to senior police positions could worsen the level of crime in the country.
He said that while the deployments are as a result of pressure caused by rising armed robberies, these will not be the solution.
“There is sufficient pressure arising from the skyrocketing insecurity. The situation could get worse as these armed units operating in the interior lines start taking on each other,” he said.
Several army officers have in the past been appointed to senior police positions, among then current Works state minister Maj Gen Katumba Wamala and Gen Kale Kayihura.
The current Deputy IGP, Maj Gen Sabiiti Muzeyi, is also one of the high ranking officers in the military.
Former IGP Kayihura was accused of militarising the police by appointing several army officers to key positions in the police force.
This Mr. Rwomushana says is counterproductive.
“The Military has taken over policing and we are now effectively a Police State,” he said.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday, the Opposition Chief Whip, Ssemujju Nganda said that the militarising of police isn’t beneficial to anyone including President Museveni who is doing it because the military training is different from that of Police.
Ssemujju said that the move will disfranchise the Police officers and that will not solve the problem that has seen crime increase in the country because of Police’s concentration on regime protection.
“In a way, Museveni has been a victim of undermining the police because the moment you bring in the military, they will stand on the side and watch. As a result, you have seen crimes go up. The moment you concentrate on regime protection, you will have less time combating crime eventually that is what happens. I think both military and Police must be ashamed that you can have people in broad day staging robberies. So there is a total breakdown. You need to brace yourself for more difficulty as a country,” argued Ssemujju.